Friday was a busy day – Invited some friends around for Rendang and a catch up, we even had wine and candles – but more on that later as photos are taking me a while to process and turns out in our excitement to eat I have plenty of pics of the process but none of the final product which is very sad…
For lunch thought rather than yet another Thai/Malaysian or Indonesian paste to faff with, I whipped up a quick cauliflower and potato curry, creamy as made with coconut milk and fairly straight forward. This one came (slightly adapted) out of Camelia Panjabi’s 50 Great Curries of India – a book I highly recommend to anyone looking for the one essential Indian cookbook, the results never disappoint.
I’m going to add a quick note on tamarind; this is a really cool fruit, you can buy it dried in blocks in most supermarkets these days, you can also pre-soaked versions – I think these are pretty pointless as you end up paying for water… Tamarind is a bit gross to deal with, cut off about 2 finger widths off the block, put it in a bowl and cover with some boiling water, leave it for a good 15-20mins and then pick out the pulp and squeeze as much liquid out as you can – discard the pulp and you use the liquid in cooking. Tamarind is really great and gives an uplifting tangy taste.
Anyway, back to the curry – fry ½ cup desiccated coconut in a little oil for 2-3mins in heavy bottomed pan, add a drizzle more oil and sauté 2 chopped onions. Add 5 dried red chillies, 2 tsp coriander seeds, ¼ tsp mustard seeds, ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds, ¼ tsp cumin seeds, 4 peppercorns and 2 cloves. Fry these for 30 seconds or so and then put them in a blender along with the fried onions, coconut, ½ tsp turmeric, ½ tsp paprika and tamarind water (about ½ cup from 1inch tamarind) and blend to a smooth paste.
In 4 tbsp oil fry 2cm finely chopped ginger and 4 chopped garlic cloves for 15 seconds or so and add one chopped onion and fry for 7-8 mins until translucent. Add the spice paste and fry for a further 2-3mins. Throw in a few peeled and chopped potatoes (I used about 3), add a little water and sauté for 5mins. Add a pinch of salt 100ml water, cover and simmer for 6-7mins. Add 1 small head of cauliflower chopped into florets, 400ml (a tin of) coconut milk and cook till done – 20mins or so.
We had it with plain white rice – everyone loves a meal with both rice and potato, nice and light…
Now to go and do battle with the photos of this weekend’s cooking